Government shutdown: Federal workers look for answers at ‘emergency’ town hall


Carrie Sheridan expresses her frustration during an emergency town hall meeting at Francis C. Hammond Middle School. (Astrid Riecken/FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)

The town hall meeting at Francis C. Hammond Middle School on Seminary Road was convened by Rep. James P. Moran Jr. (D-Va.) for the purpose of “educating and preparing our federal workforce” for a shutdown. The event, which drew more than 200 attendees and a horde of reporters, was thrown together in a day.

“We called this on an emergency basis because I think we have an emergency,” Moran said, predicting that “there very well may be a shutdown of some time” that would lead to the furlough of about 800,000 federal employees, and 100,000 from the Washington area.

As the possibility of a shutdown has become clearer, federal employees have eagerly sought answers: Will they work during a shutdown? Who will decide? Will they receive back pay if they do work? Northern Virginia is also home to a huge number of government contractors, who have their own set of worries.

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Ed O’Keefe is covering the 2016 presidential campaign, with a focus on Jeb Bush and other Republican candidates. He's covered presidential and congressional politics since 2008. Off the trail, he's covered Capitol Hill, federal agencies and the federal workforce, and spent a brief time covering the war in Iraq.

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